The brainchild of Spire Bristol Hospital’s Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, John Hardy, the Clinicon Lavage Tray is a simple way of reducing the risk of infection from pathogens, such as MRSA, and blood-borne Hepatitis B, C and HIV, by retaining any spilt blood or body fluids during patient transit and surgery in an inflatable and disposable plastic tray.
The tray, which costs just £12 and comes in pre-sterilised packs of 10 units, not only protects patients and staff from cross-infection but will mean quicker turnaround times between patients in busy operating theatres and will even cut the cost of laundry bills!
Prototypes are already being used as far afield as Melbourne, Australia but – with the commercial launch of the product this week – Spire Healthcare private hospitals will be the first in the UK to benefit from the invention.
“It’s a key step in helping hospitals meet the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations which are designed to cut the risk of cross-infections during transfer to and within the hospital environment,” said John Hardy.
“For years there’s been a known risk of infecting patients and staff through soaked surgical drapes. Healthcare workers face the highest risk being three to five times as likely to contract blood borne viruses such as Hepatitis C because of their increased exposure to these pathogens.
“A recent study found there was a risk of contamination within just 30 minutes of a drape being soaked with blood or body fluids. The beauty of this system is that it captures any infectious fluids and has a sieve-like device to provide rapid drainage. Self adhesive tapes allow the tray to be folded and secured for safe disposal immediately after its use.
“It’s suitable for all forms of surgery but is likely to be particularly popular in NHS Trauma units where operations routinely last for three hours of more and the risk of contamination is therefore greatest,” he said.
Dr Antonio Orlando, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Frenchay Hospital, who has made regular use of the prototype tray said: “I found it particularly useful in situations where I had to irrigate contaminated wounds to reduce the risk of post-operative infection.
“Now it is available to the NHS and private hospitals I have no doubt that it will help to reduce both post operative infection of patients and blood-borne infections of staff working in the operating theatres, “he concluded.
Dr Jean-Jacques de Gorter, Director of Clinical Services for Spire Healthcare, said the invention was an important step in helping to ensure the rates of cross-infection within the group’s 25-strong network of private hospitals remain among the lowest in the country.
Spire Healthcare’s superior hospital hygiene performance was recognised in 2007 by the Healthcare Commission which found that Spire Healthcare hospitals performed better against all 32 core standards than all other national private hospital networks.
Each Spire Healthcare hospital has a dedicated Infection Control Lead; a very high proportion of single room patient accommodation; stringent controls over the prescription of antibiotics; strict adherence to the WHO ‘five moments for hand hygiene’ system and Laminar Air Flow filter systems in operating theatres. As a result patients can be confident of being treated in a clean and safe hospital environment.
Spire Healthcare is also one of the first healthcare providers in the UK to publish the clinical performance outcomes for each of its private hospitals on their websites. This data includes any incidence of MRSA, wound infections after surgery and unplanned re-admissions as well as patient satisfaction rates relating to the quality of its ‘front of house’ services.